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Blue Korhaan

Eupodotis caerulescens

The blue korhaan, also known as the blue bustard, is a robust, ground-dwelling bird with a striking appearance. It has a sturdy body, a large head, a long neck, and long legs with short toes. The adult bird's length ranges from 50 to 58 centimeters. Males are distinguished by their black foreheads and crowns, with white on the sides of the head. Their backs, wings, and tails are brown, while the neck, throat, breast, and belly exhibit a bluish-grey hue. Females are similarly colored but have a duller grey on the neck and underparts, and buff ear coverts. Both sexes sport yellow legs and feet.

Identification Tips

When observing the blue korhaan, look for the contrasting black and white head, the bluish-grey underparts in males, and the yellow legs. The bird's throaty "krok-kau" calls can also aid in identification, particularly around dawn.


The blue korhaan's natural habitats include plateau grasslands, dry shrublands, arable lands, and pasturelands. It shows a preference for short grasslands with flat topography, often with a scattering of karoo-type dwarf shrubs and termite mounds, but few trees.


This species is native to South Africa and the western edges of Lesotho, with a range extending from Pretoria and Mbombela southwards to Bhisho. It is typically found at altitudes between 1,500 and 3,000 meters.


The blue korhaan is a largely terrestrial bird. When disturbed, it may crouch down or walk or run away with its head dipped. If further alarmed, it will take flight, covering considerable distances. These birds are often seen in pairs or small family groups.

Song & Calls

The blue korhaan's vocalizations consist of a series of frog-like croaks, described as throaty "krok-kau" sounds, usually heard in flight and often around dawn.


Breeding primarily occurs in October and November. The nest is a simple ground scrape, sometimes concealed in thick vegetation, where one to three eggs are laid. Incubation lasts about 26 days, and the family unit may remain together for up to two years.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the blue korhaan includes insects, lizards, scorpions, seeds, flowers, and leaves. It forages on the ground, often in pairs or family groups.

Conservation Status

As of 2017, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimated the population of blue korhaans to be between 8,000 and 10,000 mature individuals. The species is currently classified as "Near Threatened," with a declining population in the Eastern Karoo but fairly stable elsewhere. The reduction in suitable habitat due to conversion of grasslands for agriculture is a significant threat to this species.

Blue Korhaan Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Blue Korhaans on Birda


More Bustards

A photo of a Southern Black Korhaan (Afrotis afra) , male

Southern Black Korhaan

Afrotis afra
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